2020: The 13 Keys to the White House

Beebo Brink

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This is such a fascinating predictive tool for presidential races. Early days still, but it shows about 50/50 chance of Trump winning a 2nd term.


This race stands on a knife edge, at least this early in the contest. If the Democrats nominate someone other than Sanders (or perhaps Warren), the Republicans hold 8 keys, enough to win the popular vote, with the Electoral College in doubt, at least according to Lichtman’s system.... If Lichtman’s system is right, the Republicans already have enough to win the popular vote. No recession, a military success (a major peace treaty for example), and a non-charismatic Democratic candidate could turn this squeaker into an Electoral College win for the Republicans as well. Mark me worried.
 

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I still can remember very clearly how all those predictions, polls and what not, worked. The Donald only had about 10% chance even a few weeks before the elections. And look where the Baboon has been farting out his tweets the last years, when not at a golf course or watching Fox News ......
 

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13 keys? That's a lot of keys to keep track of...
 
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Beebo Brink

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I still can remember very clearly how all those predictions, polls and what not, worked. The Donald only had about 10% chance even a few weeks before the elections. And look where the Baboon has been farting out his tweets the last years, when not at a golf course or watching Fox News ......
Not quite sure what this comment is about. Lichtman's keys specifically do not rely on polls, for instance, and he predicted a probable Trump win fairly early in the race. So far, this framework accurately predicts the election outcomes back to the 1800s.


The Keys retroactively account for the popular vote winners of every presidential election from 1860 through 1980 and prospectively forecast the popular-vote winners of all eight presidential elections from 1984 through 2012.
The keys are based on mathematical and historical analysis and factor in some complex interactions:

Lichtman's keys are predominantly a predictor of the popular vote, however limited predictions can be made from the model about whether the electoral college outcome and popular vote might diverge.

Specifically, while Lichtman's model says (accurately) that any candidate with eight or more positive keys and five or fewer negative keys will win the popular vote, any candidate with exactly eight positive keys and five negative ones runs a serious risk of winning the popular vote but losing the electoral college. In these specific cases, campaign factors may actually matter.

Candidates with exactly 5 negative keys who run stellar or at least highly competent campaigns, even when faced with the very real possibility of losing the electoral college (Truman in 1948, Bill Clinton in 1996) can seal an electoral college victory on top of their popular vote win. Candidates with exactly five negative keys who don't campaign, run a poor campaign, or take their win in certain states for granted (Grover Cleveland in 1888, Al Gore in 2000, and Hillary Clinton in 2016) typically lose the electoral college, even if they do win the popular vote.
Most of the first 12 keys are baked in already or wholly within Trump's scope and thus beyond the ability of the Democratic party to change. The only key they can affect is #13 - Challenger charisma. Which is why I really balk at a "safe" choice as the nominee. A safe choice will lose us a critical key in a very tight race. This model supports my contention that Sanders was the candidate who stood the best chance to beat Trump in both popular and Electoral college in 2016. I don't think he has the same charisma factor this time around, so the question is who does for 2020?

Warren -- much as I like her -- hasn't caught fire (yet). Maybe Biden is the one, but I don't feel it. So far, the most charismatic candidate I've seen is Pete Buttigieg.
 

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I still can remember very clearly how all those predictions, polls and what not, worked. The Donald only had about 10% chance even a few weeks before the elections. And look where the Baboon has been farting out his tweets the last years, when not at a golf course or watching Fox News ......

His chance of winning skyrocketed to 29% and was climbing in the final days of the election. Comey's announcement that they were reopening the investigation did her in IMO.
 

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Not quite sure what this comment is about. Lichtman's keys specifically do not rely on polls, for instance, and he predicted a probable Trump win fairly early in the race. So far, this framework accurately predicts the election outcomes back to the 1800s.
If it is as accurate as you say.... why spending all those millions and millions on election campaigns?
With the American election system you have about 50% chance to predict the outcome right, without any knowledge at all.
Its either red or blue. And then there is on top of that the fact that blue actually is more light red than any thing else.
No chances for green, yellow, purple or pink.

Let all the monkeys in a zoo pick one of the two colors and about half of them will be right about the outcome of the elections.

IMHO it is all about how many Dems and Reps can be bothered to go actually voting, especially in the crucial swing states.
That is all there is to it.
 
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GoblinCampFollower

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Most of the first 12 keys are baked in already or wholly within Trump's scope and thus beyond the ability of the Democratic party to change. The only key they can affect is #13 - Challenger charisma. Which is why I really balk at a "safe" choice as the nominee. A safe choice will lose us a critical key in a very tight race. This model supports my contention that Sanders was the candidate who stood the best chance to beat Trump in both popular and Electoral college in 2016. I don't think he has the same charisma factor this time around, so the question is who does for 2020?
I wanted to comment on keys 5 and 6. I am willing to bet that they break down as predictors when wealth inequality gets really, really bad. We are in some very rare circumstances in that regard.
 

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I wanted to comment on keys 5 and 6. I am willing to bet that they break down as predictors when wealth inequality gets really, really bad. We are in some very rare circumstances in that regard.
If that's so (which would not surprise me), those would have stacked the odds against Clinton even more for 2016. On the other hand, Lichtman himself said that Trump's extreme unfitness for the job was so far outside the historical norms that he wasn't as confident in the prediction for Trump's win as he might have been otherwise. Since Trump did in fact win, perhaps #5 & 6 weighted the scales back in his favor.

The question for 2020 is whether Trump is still perceived as anti-establishment -- thus not responsible for economic inequality -- or whether he's now become the new Establishment figure. I suspect the extreme way he continues to flout norms has insulated him from being seen as a Washington insider.
 

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Trump is going to run on a campaign of victimhood this time. Look what the dems did to him. Look what the 13 angry democrats...etc. He'll work the feelings of those who think that government is always out to get the "little guy" - who somehow and for some reason think Trump is one of them to get the base to stay on board. Meanwhile, the Russians and whoever else he has working on the side will promote conspiracy theory after theory and spread ugly news about his opponent until we get to the place where people are casting protest votes or staying home. I have little hope that we will have anything resembling a free and fair election so long as Barr has the shackles on the justice department.

If you guys remember I predicted what was happening last time and you guys castigated me for it. Please don't do that again! Just hold your noses and vote for whoever the hell opposes this cancer on the US. It might be our last chance.
 

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Trump knows how to communicate with his potential voters. He kept organizing all those rallys. That appeals to his crowd. He probably does them for his narcistic needs, but it works for his followers as well. Look, finally a president who comes to talk to us when there is no election campaign.
 

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I wanted to comment on keys 5 and 6. I am willing to bet that they break down as predictors when wealth inequality gets really, really bad. We are in some very rare circumstances in that regard.
5. Short term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign.

True so far.

6. Long term economy: Real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms.

True (see chart here).
5 and 6 are dead in the dystopian present. You can't tell how well the economy is doing by measuring how the 1% is doing, but that's exactly how we measure and report economic health.

Here's how I like to illustrate it. Say I go buy an ice cream cone for everyone here...and then I eat them all. On average, we each had one ice cream cone. This is how we report economic health.

It used to be that when the stock market was doing well, your pension funds were increasing in value. Now you don't have a pension.

It used to be that when businesses were profitable, they invested in facilities, in R&D, in people. LOL.

It used to be when there was low unemployment, wages would rise. That doesn't happen anymore, because the unemployment rate has been gamed. And because unions have lost so much power. And because having to work two jobs to keep a roof over your head, or driving for Uber while you live with your parents, counts as being employed. It seems like we have near full employment, so why don't we have wage bargaining power? Because we aren't actually fully employed.

So, when people take stock of how well they are doing, they may reach a conclusion that is at odds with official measures for 5 and 6. Whether 5 and 6 benefit Trump depends on how many people blame themselves for the discrepancy and how many of them think the official measures are just wrong.

Your job is to convince people of the latter.
 

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This is such a fascinating predictive tool for presidential races. Early days still, but it shows about 50/50 chance of Trump winning a 2nd term.

Thanks for this. It is so critically important to nominate whoever has the best chance of winning and this tool could bring that into focus. I think several candidates are charismatic but for me Bernie is probably the most dynamic.
 
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